​​​A Closer Look at Potassium Deficiencies in Cotton

March 2019 | 15 min., 44 sec.
by Tyson B. Raper
The University of Tennessee

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​In recent years, potassium (K) deficiencies have remained common throughout the U.S. cotton producing regions. As cotton yields across the belt continue to increase, it is likely that these deficiencies will remain quite common, even under ‘sufficient’ soil test levels. Practitioners must understand the role K plays within cotton plant growth and fiber development, how to properly identify the nutrient deficiency, and understand the most efficient ways to prevent or mitigate deficiency symptoms in order to increase the efficiency of the production system. This presentation will help consultants, county agents, growers, and other practitioners in the southern U.S. cotton-producing states to better understand the role and importance of K in cotton production and summarize recent research examining rate and alternative placement of the nutrient. Summaries of recent research suggest these deficiencies may not be mitigated by simply increasing soil applied rates or by banding the nutrient within the rooting zone. Currently, it appears the most efficient methods of applying K are still soil-test based, broadcast applications.

About the Presenter

Tyson B. RaperTyson B. Raper is the Cotton and Small Grains Specialist for the University of Tennessee. Dr. Raper attended Auburn University for his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business and Economics with a Minor in Agronomy and Soils. He later completed his master’s degree with Dr. Jac J. Varco at Mississippi State University studying the potential to remotely detect nitrogen deficiencies in cotton. Dr. Raper completed his doctor of philosophy with Dr. Derrick M. Oosterhuis at the University of Arkansas examining the impact of potassium deficiencies on remotely detecting nitrogen deficiencies in cotton and development of a drought stress index from temporally dense, spatially sparse soil moisture measurements. Currently, Dr. Raper’s research program focuses on increasing fertilizer use efficiencies through alternate placements, the remote detection and amelioration of nutrient stresses, and use of soil moisture to quantify experienced drought stress in variety trials.

Contact Information:
Email: traper@utk.edu


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